The Word of God has a unique place in God’s dealing with man. The Bible describes itself in certain ways that help us understand this unique relationship. Some of these descriptions are in word pictures. They help us to understand the special place the Bible has in the estimate of God.
For example, the Psalmist says, “For you have exalted above all things your name and your word (Psalm 138:2b).” This verse tells us that God has given his Word a place as high as his Name, which represents his character and reputation.
Now let us look at some of the ways the Bible describes itself:
Enduring Word: Want to Keep Yourself Strong in Life?
Man’s life is nothing apart from God. His life withers like grass and his glory falls like the flowers of the field. That is the truth we find in Isaiah 40:6—8.
But in contrast God’s Word stands forever. The Word of God doesn’t change nor does it perish. See also Matthew 5:18, 19 and Matthew 24:35. This is a reality which should help us put our confidence in God’s Word.
About this world it is popularly said, “The only constant in life is change” – Heraclitus. The weather changes, people’s opinion changes, governments change, BUT the Word of God does not change. What a great anchor of hope (Hebrews 6:18, 19) we have in God’s Word.
Anchor: How Do You Keep Yourself Steady in Times of Trouble?
Anchor is used to secure a ship safely so that it is not swept away by winds or waves. Anchor is placed away from the ship. While the ship is in the harbour it might be taken out and secured to the shore.
In the passage starting in Hebrews 6:13 the certainty of God’s promise is spoken about. That means when God says something it is true and will come to pass. That is absolute because it is impossible for God to lie (v. 18).
Therefore our hope is tied to this anchor which is secured for us by Jesus. He has gone ahead of us to secure it at the very presence of God at the throne of grace. What a great assurance for us! See also 2 Corinthians 1:20.
Rain and Snow: What Is That Keeps You Full of Life?
Both rain and snow come down from heaven. They accomplish growth by nourishing the earth’s soil. So also God’s Word. (see Isaiah 55:10, 11).
The Word of God comes from above. Our role is to receive it in faith and proclaim it in faith. That is why there is power in preaching the Word of God faithfully. It convicts when preached in the power of the Spirit of God, it creates faith, it makes people repent, and it causes spiritual growth in the life of a believer.
Without the influence of rain and snow earth dries up, greenery is lost, and the land becomes brown. Therefore open up your heart to receive God’s Word and it will not return to God empty. It will surely bring blessing, “seed for the sower and bread for the eater.” Without rain and snow life is not possible, is it?
There Is Life in the Word: What Makes You Thrive?
Moses proclaimed God’s Word saying “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction (Deuteronomy 30:15).”
Listen to his voice or Word.
Obey what he has said.
The result is life and blessing.
The opposite is also true. Disobedience to God’s Word brings death and destruction. So allow the Word to be planted in you (James 1:21). It will cause you to have life. Jesus also referred to the life-giving power of his words: “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life (John 6:63).” In Proverbs 4:20—22 we find that there is life and health to be found in God’s Word.
Seed: What Do You Need to Have in You?
One of the properties of seed is that it multiplies when it falls on good soil. This is very clear in the parable Jesus told about the sower and the seed. “The seed is the word of God (Luke 8:11).”
The quality of the seed is good. But the recipients differed in the way they received God’s Word. When the seed falls on good soil, the recipients hear and accept the Word. In other words the listeners hear the Word, make changes in their lives in obedience to what they heard. That is what results in producing a crop that is thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times what was sown (see Mark 4:20).
The seed is symbolic of the imperishable life that is hidden in it (1 Peter 1:23). If the Word of God is not multiplying in impact in your life and through your life in the lives of others; the problem is with the soil. So consider the way you listen to God’s Word.
Fire and Hammer: How Do You Stay Ready for Correction?
This is mentioned in the context of false prophets misleading people with their dreams. They were telling lies. God is reminding that prophets have to speak God’s word faithfully.
When the Word of God came to people it gave them a fearful sense of the holiness of God. On the other hand it also made them feel their own sinfulness.
This is the power of God’s Word that came to them–capable of breaking them down like a hammer breaking rock into pieces and like a fire that burns away (Jeremiah 23:29) all that needs to be purified in their hearts
The Word of God is like a hammer. That is why even hardened sinners are broken down under its power. The Word of God is like fire. It burns away all that will not stand in front of the holy eyes of God. Have you experienced God’s Word as hammer and as fire?
Faith Is Connected to the Word
It is only by listening to the Word that faith comes. This is what Paul said, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
If people have to hear the Word, it has to be preached. As you listen to the Word more and more, you become more and more convinced about the greatness of God and his majesty. The more you know about God through his Word, the greater the faith in him becomes.
Prayer Is Connected to the Word
There can be no meaningful prayer without reading and meditating on God’s Word. When the words of Jesus remain in our hearts God will listen to our prayers in his name. This what Jesus meant when he said: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you (John 15:7).” (see also John 15:16; 16:23, 24).
When God’s Word remains in us, our prayers will be in tune with God’s will. Then our prayers will be answered as the Spirit of God helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26, 27).
Fruitfulness Is Connected to the Word
God wishes his disciples to be fruitful for God’s glory (John 15:8). That is why the man who delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on it day and night is compared to a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither (Psalm 1:2,3).
Remember Joshua was asked not to turn to the left or the right from the Law but meditate on it day and night so that he may achieve success (Joshua 1:7—9).
Mirror: How Can You Know Your Wrongs and Errors?
We need to make necessary correction in our life in the light of God’s truth shown to us in the mirror—that is the Word of God. There is no use if people forget how they looked in the mirror as they turn away from it (James 1:22—25).
James immediately follows it up with one practical example on how we use our tongue (James 1:26). He says that if you consider yourself religious and do not keep a tight rein on your tongue, you are deceiving yourself and your religion is worthless.
Ask God to help you tame your tongue if that is what God is showing you in the mirror today (see also James 3:1—12). If you don’t do so, your religion is not acceptable to God. The Mirror of God’s Word has shown you one area in your life that needs correction. Will you do something about it or forget about it?
Lamp and Light: How Can I Know God’s Will for My Life?
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105).” This image comes from a time when people had no torchlights or streetlights. So they valued the light of the fires they carried with them.
The Word of God does not guide when you open a page of the Bible randomly. Sometimes God, out of compassion, gives you an encouraging verse. But you will land up in trouble very quickly if you follow that pattern often.
But when you read and meditate on God’s Word more and more, you will be able to know what God’s will is for you in each situation of your life. There are many verses which talk about guidance. Isaiah 30:21, Isaiah 48:17, Psalm 32:8 are some verses that can encourage you.
Truth: Is There Only One Standard for Truth?
Let us look at truth from a different perspective. How do you measure things? You use a scale or a measuring tape. What if 1 metre is not equal to 100 centimetres in all parts of the world? Yes we need a standard to measure things. The Bible is God’s standard of truth.
Jesus said, “Your word is truth (John 17:17).”
The Bible does not sugar-coat sin. It speaks of sin that happened in the life of the saints. We also find prophets speaking to kings about sins they committed and the judgement of God upon them in the Name of the LORD and in the power of the Spirit of God. In no other culture in the world is that possible.
The Bible does not hesitate to speak about sin, its consequences, judgement and hell. Therefore there is the ring of truth to this Book.
Milk: Can I Survive Without Drinking Milk?
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” – 1 Peter 2:2, 3. Some translations specify “pure spiritual milk of the word” (NASB, KJV, NKJV etc.).
Milk is something absolutely essential for a newborn baby. When we become children of God we are born again into his kingdom. We, like any baby, need milk. When babies become hungry they cry and mothers instinctively know that it is for milk they are crying.
Now think about it. Whose problem is it if you are not crying out for milk? Milk, however as you will soon see, represents the basics of God’s Word. You need more to grow in the Lord.
Solid Food: Can I Grow Without Eating Nutritious Food?
“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” – Hebrews 5:12 (see also 1 Corinthians. 3:1—2).
This is a less popular passage as it is a warning. No parent desires that his or her baby continue to be a baby depending on milk all the time. Instead each parent wishes to see the growth of the baby. It is no different with our heavenly Father. He wants to see us grow.
As long as you are happy with the simple truths of God’s Word there is no chance for you to grow. As long as you are happy reading Psalm 23 (general), Psalm 121 (going for a journey), and Psalm 91 (for protection) and maybe a chapter from Proverbs every day you are still on milk. But solid food gives you spiritual strength. God is challenging you to go for solid food. Will you accept the challenge?
The Double-Edged Sword: How to Attack and Win over Devil’s Temptations?
Paul was in prison in Rome. From his cell he could see the Roman soldier guarding him. He looked at the Roman soldier’s sword and wrote about the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).”
The sword is an offensive weapon. You can attack using it. It is the only offensive weapon described by Paul in this passage. The Word of God when quoted to the devil in the power of the Spirit of God can put the devil to flight. The best example is how Jesus used the Word of God when he was tempted by the devil. He said: “It is written” thrice to the devil (see Matthew 4 and Luke 4). Thus Jesus won that spiritual warfare.
In Hebrews we find yet another way in which the sword operates. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” –Hebrews 4:12. This is one reason why people do not spend time with God’s Word. If they read it in a humble manner the Word of God will point out the wrong attitudes in their lives however hidden it is.
Agent of Cleansing: How Can I Use the Cleansing Power of the Word of God?
There is a purifying effect of God’s Word in the life of a believer. Hiding or treasuring God’s word in one’s heart helps you not to sin: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word (Psalm 119:9).” “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11).”
Jesus also referred to the cleansing effect of his Word: “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you (John 15:3).
You will face a lot of temptations in this world. It is easy to sin against God without anyone knowing about it these days. One way to defeat temptation is to treasure God’s Word in your heart. That is why a regular daily reading of God’s Word is important. The Spirit of God will remind you of what you read (John 14:26) when you need it. But if you don’t have a habit of reading how can the Spirit of God help you?
Precious than Gold | Sweeter than Honey
Psalm 19: 7—11 talks about the perfection of God’s Word.
The law of the Lord is perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, sure, altogether righteous, more precious than gold, sweeter than honey. It revives the soul, makes wise the simple, gives joy to the heart and light to the eyes. David says, “By them [the law of the Lord] is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (v. 11).
Dear young friends, the Word of God is a warning light from a lighthouse to the ships at sea. In listening to its warning there is great reward–the saving of your life.
Psalm 119: The Glories of God’s Word
Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible. Many Bible Scholars believe that Psalm 119 might have been a contribution of Ezra, the great teacher of the Law of Moses (Ezra 7:6).
This Psalm has 176 verses. All these verses except 90, 121, 122, 132 mention God’s Word in one way or the other. This Psalm is an acrostic. It has 22 stanzas and each stanza has 8 lines. Each of these stanzas and the lines in them begin with one letter of the Hebrew Alphabet thus covering all the 22 alphabets.
Verse 176: This is a surprising conclusion to this great Psalm. After having praised God’s Word and its benefits, the author concludes on a note of prayer. He tells God that he has not forgotten God’s commands. Yet he points to his own weakness saying that even though he loved God’s Word, he was like a sheep that easily went astray. So, O God, please do not forget me! But “Seek your servant.” You can make it that prayer too along with Psalm 19:14.
The Bible Comes Alive
The Bible can change your life. It can help you love God more and more each passing day. It can encourage you to live a life pleasing to God. It can correct your wrong attitudes and make you confess hidden sin in your life. Reading the Bible regularly and meditating on it will make you experience God and his love for you. The Holy Spirit will make all this real for you. Above all you will discover that Jesus is the focus of the Bible (John 5:39)!
|“The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” – D. L. Moody